Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Pumpkin AleGreat Lakes Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

107 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 10
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 09-29-2007

In our pursuit to bring you the most flavourful and unique beers possible, we are proud to release this tasty autumn ale. Handcrafted with an assortment of specialty malts and hops, we added a generous amount of pumpkin directly into the brew. Combine this with hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice, and you've got a beer that you won't soon forget. Rich, satisfying and slightly spicy, our seasonal ale goes perfectly with your favourite dessert or traditional feast. But like fall, Pumpkin Ale comes but once a year!
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Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 65
Photo of bobsy
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer at three different time points now, and the character has been slightly different at each tasting. From the tap at the fall festival of beers, it tasted fresh and full of pumpkin. From the bottle, just after release, the spices dominated and the pumpkin lurked in the background. I'll base my comments on a bottle that has been sitting for several months.

A frothy off-white head crowns a radiant orange body. I believe this is what pumpkin beer would look like in a perfect world. The aroma, as expected, was pumpkin pie. The spicing seems more subdued than the previous bottle, so this could be a good sign. That's more like it! The flavours have become very well integrated, and it tastes like sipping on a pumpkin pie. A nicely carbonated pumpkin pie. I'll definitely pick up some more next fall.

Edited to add: tastes excellent on cask.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have not had many pumpkin beers but I really enjoyed this one. I love the fact that the spices come through over everything else. It ends up being a bit unbalanced but I really didn't mind. I would not be able to drink a whole lot of them though. It pours with a fluffy off white head, great retention and lacing. Has a clear orange copper color.

I found the nose to be at its best right after the pour ( strange but thats what I thought). Notes of pumpkin pie spices ( cinnamon, nutmeg etc), a bit of pumpkin and caramel malt.

Tastes similar to the nose, the spices are king in this beer. Also has hints of caramel malt and hop bitterness. Great fall drink that I hope Great Lakes keeps on brewing.

Photo of crwills
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

OK, I confess. I just don't like pumpkin ales. I try them for the sake of trying them, but there's something about the spices in them that I can't tolerate for some reason. With that in mind...

This one was decent. Looks nice (deep, orangey gold with a big bubbly white head). Smells nice -- I have no problem with the smell of these ales, I just don't like the taste -- lots of the usual spices, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, although very little pumpkin. Some pumpkin-like notes in the flavour, although, again, the artificial spices dominate. Solid mouthfeel, although I felt the carbonation emphasized the spices a little too much.

I've got one more bottle to drink, which I may share out at Christmas or trade.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange with a white head, and lacey. Spice including moderate pumpkin aroma. The taste is bold and a naturally above average carbonated. Tasty and one of the better pumpkins I have liked, drinkable. Balanced with some bitterness, a tad sweet with cinammon, nutmeg and faint clove, and of course gourd.
Had almost 2 years later on cask at C'est What and it was a very good cask.

Photo of sstackho
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto for around $5. (The "Double" in its name here comes from early kegs on draft. I don't believe there is any intentional difference between the draft versions and the bottled version that does not say "Double".) Pours a light straw with lots of carbonation. Quite nice aroma of "pumpkin beer" spice. The first taste is tangy from all the carbonation. The wife comments that it burns her tongue. Flavour is a nice, typical pumpkin beer. Not mind blowing, but nice to at least have the option in this variety-starved province.

Photo of MMansfield
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received bottle from trade. Thanks Viggo. Bottle is painted glass and labeled just Pumpkin Ale with no double.

Appearance: Pours an orangey copper colour, clear, creamy white head diminishes slowly to a ring and leaves some lace.

Aroma: Dominated by cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other pumpkin pie spices. Sweet and earthy notes in there as well.

Taste: Starts off sweet and then a smack of pumpkin pie seasonings. As the beer warms some actual pumpkin flavours come through. Finish is a little dry, sweet, and spicy/herbal.

Mouthfeel: Quite thin, which is something I would prefer a pumpkin ale not to be. Drinkability is medium.

Final Statement: The best pumpkin ale I've had to date, but that doesn't mean much as it's only my third. I would prefer a darker, fuller, richer pumpkin ale with less spice. Overall not too bad.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear orangey color ale with a small foamy head with no retention and no lacing. Aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon is dominating and well balance. Taste is also dominated by some pumpkin notes with some cinnamon and maybe subtle cloves notes. Full body with some minimal carbonation. Well done overall with some good balance.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not sure where the "double" in the name comes from, my bottle just says Pumpkin Ale. 650ml bomber poured into a pint glass, sent out by pootz. Thanks buddy!

Pours a crystal-clear light copper colour with a healthy inch of head, some wet lace and medium-high carbonation. Nose is full of sweet malty aroma with tons of spice. I'm mostly getting cloves and allspice, with the cinnamon and nutmeg coming in right after. The whole mix is just a little bubblegum-like.

Taste is much lighter than I was expecting. A bit of zip from the spices, especially the cinnamon. The rest of the flavour comes off a little cheap as the malt profile is extremely generic with hints of veggie. Nothing to report in the way of hops in here besides a light herbal quality. There's a mineral flavour in here as well, which is somewhat welcome. Medium bodied and a bit creamy, cinnamon burns the tongue a bit but isn't really very dry at all. This is drinkable but a bit boring. I'm looking for more of a balls out beer to celebrate Halloween with.

Photo of shamus
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We found rust (or is that pumpkin guts) under the cap too. Is this left over from last year I wonder? Not a lot of head. Nothing interesting to smell. tastes like someone dipped a slice of pie in a sleemans ale and let it marinate over night. That being said I am enjoying it. It's definitely a novelty beer. I have had better pumpkin ale before. However this will do for now.

Photo of allergictomacros
2.58/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Hmm... Orange under the cap is not pumpkin but rust. Bodes poorly? Pours a clear copper with copious off-white head. Kinda loose though.

S - Doesn't smell like much of anything. Kinda raisiny and a hint of pumpkin. Uh... hint of fish sauce. Warms up with some cinnamon and spiciness.

T - Slightly buttery with some apple and pear - harvesty yes, pumpkiny no.

M - Kinda chewy.

D - Alright I guess but I am underwhelmed by the lack of pumpkinyness
in this.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice silk screened bomber with thick orange foil on the neck.

The pour reveals a slightly hazy orange liquid with slow moving large carbonation bubbles abounding. The head is flash in the pan shortlived and only leaves moderate lacing behind. A strong all spice, nutmeg aroma fills my nostrils upon first sniff. Spices really dominate the nose. The flavor follows suit with lots of powdery nutmeg and other phenolic flavors mixing with cinnamon and other spices. Some vegetal, fiberous flavor is there too, Im guessing this is the pumpkin meat added. Malt is very restrained in the back, providing just some sweetness. Hops are essentially MIA. The mouthfeel is full bodied and cloying with sweet spices. The finish is herbal, like my grandmother's spice cabinet.

This is a decent pumpkin ale, though a little unbalanced. Some more malt depth and hop flavors would go a long way to counter the wall of spices.

Photo of CanuckRover
2.67/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My first pumpkin ale.

Good looking, halloweeny bottle. Pours, well, orange, or dark amberish if your picky, clear and visible carbonation.

Aroma may have ruined the whole experience for me. Unpleasant sour, macro-lager type smell. I was expecting to smell pumpkin pie, instead I was getting raw pumpkin pulp, not my thing.

In the taste, again I got a cheap lager impression which is not what I was expecting at all, kind of chalky. Bottle promises full flavoured ale with pumpkin, cloves, allspice and cinnamon... I got the cloves but where were the other spices? I was prepared for much more after reading reviews of big pumpkin pie beers. The pumpkin seemed subdued to me, more of a whiff in the finish than anything else. It seemed to me like the malt and the pumpkin just weren't complimentary, they didn't seem to work together. To me it tasted like a Keith's with some pumpkin in the mix.

Mouth feel was, again, not what I expected. I was looking for a big ale with some very mild carbonation. Instead I found it surprisingly thin and carbonated.

Now, as I said, this is the first pumpkin ale I've ever had so maybe I've misunderstood the style. I was expecting a full-flavoured, pumpkin pie spice experience, instead I found a thin beer with a little bit of pumpkin and cloves and not much else. Reading the other reviews, I'll give this one another shot and try some more examples of the style. As it is, I'm not impressed with this one.

Photo of pootz
3.94/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a draft at the brewery but this rating is from a fresh bottle sample.

Poured a bright orange-amber with a 1 finger white cap...does not last long but makes a surface lace that laces the glass well enough.

Wonderful nose: pumpkin pie spices with toffee malts and some botanical mustiness ( the pumpkin)

Good mouth feel, silky and ample.

Big caramel malts in the front start to go sweet but the spice- hop astringence rushes in to balance very well, lovely spicy, malty lightly sweet middle with a sharp clean finish and light spice and bread after taste.

Well carried off Pumpkin ale....rich and satisfying but smooth and drinkable...best of the seasonals from this Brewer so far

Photo of Derek
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, no retention, slight lacing.

S: Pumpking spice (ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon).

T: Ginger, nutmeg, mace, light cinnamon, pumpkin, balanced bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body, dry finish, greater than moderate carbonation.

D: Decent drinker.

Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What? Festival of Small Brewers. Not sure what the double is for, not particularly pumpkiny or alcoholic.

Pours a clear orange, thin white head forms, lace spots, settles to a ring around the glass. Smell is pumpkins, clove/allspice, bread, bit of citrus character, caramel, not bad. Taste is similar, sweet malt, some pumpkin, bit of caramel, spices, wheat, weak finish, spicy bitterness unbalances it a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Better of the two pumpkin ale at the fest, but not by much.

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Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.